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Word Count: 1,209
In A Separate Peace by John Knowles two school-aged friends Phineas and Gene go through many trials and tribulations together that mold Gene from a very dependent person to a very independent person During World War II Phineas Finny and Gene are juniors at a New England prep school called Devon Many of their friends are being drafted into the war However they are unaware of the threat of enlistment thinking the war is a big joke During the summer they spend much of their time together at the school During this time Gene wants to stay in his room and study while Finny wants to go out for a swim in the river Gene eventually goes with him even though he does not want to Once they reach the river Finny finds a large tree climbs to the top branch and jumps out of the tree Afterwards he talks Gene into doing the same Reluctantly Gene jumps out of the tree to prove himself to Finny Afterwards Finny tells Gene that he has a tendency to back away from things when Finny isnt around 10 Gene seconds later declares I never backed away from anything in my life but then he admits that he feels bad because Finnys statement is so true 10 This shows his dependence because he is actually admitting that he would not have gone along unless Finny had told him to do so It also shows that if Finny had not tricked him into jumping he would have never done it in the first place He does not want to face the truth of his fears relying on Finny to make important decisions for him like whether or not to go with him and whether or not to jump out of the tree This is because Gene feels unsure of his own decisions Later as they are climbing the tree again Gene thinks to himself I began climbing the rungs
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